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tv   Eye on Washington  CBS  November 19, 2016 1:37am-2:07am PST

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(announcer) (announcer) t t t tioioioiopipipipi "eye on washington with marilee joyce." a weekly discussion about the federal issues most important to nevada. and now, from washington, d.c., here's marilee joyce. >> well, good day to youou i'i'maririe e yce e d d is i i "eye on washington," the only
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produced in washington, d.c. every week "eye on washington" takes you straight to capitol hill for a discussion with nevada's delegation and other leaders about the federal matters that matter to you. today topic, is it past tense for pot prohibition? we're going to look at question two and what its passage this november would mean for nevada. my guests today are mr. morgan fox, the communications director of the washington, d.c.-based marijuana policy project and also from the mpp is mr. robert capecchi, our federal policy director. thanks both of you for being on. >> thanks for having us. >> thanks. >> well, according to a 2015 study by the pew research center, 53% of americans want to see cannabis legalized. well, we'll see if that's the case in nevada this november when voters decide on question 2. it's a ballot initiative that would legalize recreational marijuana.
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the marijuana policy project is doing to get pro question 2 voters to the polls. we'll talk pros and cons. should marijuana be legal in the state? and we'll learn what the mpp is doing on capitol hill. well, cannabis is the fourth most popular recreational drug in the world. it trails only alcohol, caffeine and tobacco. in the u.s. alone it's believed that more than 100 million americans have tried it. 25 million americans have used it within the past year alone. to see it legalized in the silver state. that's how many residents signed a petition to get legalization on the 2016 ballot. the las vegas-based coalition to regulate marijuana like alcohol with the national backing and coordination of the marijuana policy project got well over the required 101,666 signatures required. now it's up to the voters to decide whether adults age 21
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1 ounce of the product should it pass, marijuana would be regulated like alcohol. revenue from sales would be dedicated to public education and to regulation enforcement. and i want to welcome both of you to my show. i've done several shows with mr. dan riffle, another on this and other marijuana issues in the past, so it's wonderful to have the two of you on the program today. mr. fox, i want to start with you. i want to spend this segment, our audience of what the initiative means and what its passage means for the legalities and possession of marijuana. >> well, basically what question 2 would do would be to make it legal for people 21 years of age or older to possess up to an ounce of marijuana or 1/8 of an ounce of marijuana concentrates on their person. it would also make it allowable for anyone that does not live within 25 miles of a retail marijuana store to grow
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enclosed lot location. but really what it would do that is most important is it would regulate marijuana similar to alcohol, establishing retail marijuana cultivation sites and dispensaries, more or less, that are controlled by the department of taxation who would be required to establish guidelines for exactly how these businesses are supposed to be run and the various security concerns. >> mr. capecchi, you guys worked alongside with the coalition to help, you know, reality. but that's only half your battle. what's the mpp doing now to get nevadans to the polls? >> well, it's a public education campaign, that's for sure. being out there and reminding voters what marijuana is and, more particularly, what it's not. you know, marijuana is not alcohol. it does not lead to aggressive behaviors, you know. it's not prone to lead to violence, you know. it's proven safer for the user and community than alcohol usage. and if we're going to allow
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make that decision for themselves whether or not they want to consume alcohol, we should at least allow them to make the decision to consume a safer substance as well. >> we're going to get to the pros and cons if it passes in our next segment. but i do want your thoughts on why this time. i know you can point to the coalition's getting twice the signatures needed and the number of people who have tried it, the polls that are showing. and you mentioned as we were preparing there's actually a poll that says now 58% of legalized, right? >> the most recent gallup poll said that 58% of americans nationally want marijuana to be legalized. in the state of nevada, we're seeing a slim majority of voters that also want question 2 to pass. >> and again, i know you can point to all these things that say it's time to do this. but i just want to point out, why now? and history is not on your side, is it? in 2006, nevada marijuana
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defeated. 2002, nevada criminalization of marijuana amendment question 9 defeated. why now? is there more awareness? >> absolutely. you know, once states have been able to experiment with different marijuana policies, other than blanket prohibition, we have started to see the benefits of those systems. and now other states can look at states like colorado and washington and alaska and oregon and learn from them and see that not only are they not wasting money arresting adults for a substance that's safer gaining tax revenue. they are putting drug dealers out of business. they are creating jobs. these are all things that benefit a state. so far we haven't seen any of the negatives that prohibitionists have been contending would occur. >> mr. capecchi. >> on top of everything that morgan just said, which i agree with, you know, i think there's also a lot to be said about the element of social media and how that's helped kind of disseminate policy ideas that may not have otherwise gotten a lot of
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increase in the amount of support for same-sex marriage, for instance. and we have see the same kind of rapid increase in support for ending marijuana prohibition. and i think it's because, you know, voters and just citizens around this country, they have a better understanding now of who a marijuana user is. it's not your stereotypical, you know, i guess cheech or chong type figure. it's your neighbor. it's your sick grandma. it's the 25-year-old who would of work and enjoy a little marijuana than have a beer or martini. >> and when we return, the pros and cons of marijuana legalization. let's discuss them right after legalization. let's discuss them right after this. (announcer) >>you're watching "eye on washington with marilee joyce."
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>> and welcome back to "eye on washington," our update on the effort to get marijuana taxed like alcohol in nevada. my guests today are mr. morgan fox, the communications director of the marijuana policy project and the federal policy director, mr. robert capecchi. thanks again for being here. so hang on a sec. is marijuana good for you? is it safe to use? well, the jury is out in the minds of many. the preamble to question 2 initiative says this. in the interest of the public health and public safety, and in order to better focus state and local law enforcement resources on crimes involving
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property, the people of the state of nevada find and declare that the use of marijuana should be legal for persons 21 years of age or older, and its cultivation and sale should be regulated similar to other legal businesses. well, there is an anti side to this and they certainly do not agree that the drug is healthy or leads to improved crime rates directly or indirectly. many believe it is a gateway drug, especially for addictive personalities, and it would cause a rise in usage during work hours. so, gentlemen, i'm going to run down some of the antis' views and let you respond afterward. okay. so health, antis say marijuana contains about 15 dangerous chemicals, five times more tar and other cancer-causing agents than tobacco. i'll let you take the first one. >> well, all the studies that have looked at it recently show absolutely no link between marijuana and cancer
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marijuana is objectively safer than alcohol, and safer than a lot of other pharmaceutical drugs that people are able to access, even over the counter. >> all right. how about for you? social issues. those opposed say marijuana is a gateway drug and puts a strain on healthcare facilities and causes higher crime rates. >> well, the gateway has been repeatedly debunked. in fact, just recently in the dea decision not to reschedule marijuana, they covered the gateway theory. and in that decision, they said there is no gateway. this is the dea saying that, comfortable in doing away with that myth once and for all. >> okay. >> and on the other social issues, a majority of the social issues caused by marijuana use are actually caused by the prohibition of marijuana. i mean the reason why there's violence surrounding the marijuana trade is because we have criminal organizations that run the marijuana trade. i mean you don't see anheuser and miller lite shooting it out over turf. and that's because they are regulated entities, and they can take each other to court if they have disputes. >> you mean almost like a
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>> absolutely. just like a black market. >> okay, addiction. either one of you. while a majority of studies do seem to indicate you don't get addicted to pot, like some other substances, even the las vegas group relief says there's a 9% addiction rate. >> that's absolutely correct. there is a very, very small percentage of people that use marijuana that become addicted to it. but the consequences of marijuana addiction are far, far less than those of addiction to other drugs. in addition, when we make the substance legal and regulated, get help for any sort of drug problems that they have. >> mr. capecchi, how about the workforce? the "review-journal" says workplace use in colorado increased from 6% to 20%. you can test if a person is high. >> well, a lot of the marijuana testing that's done, it's not detailed enough to tell you if someone is currently intoxicated. a lot of the tests can detect marijuana consumption from five, even 30 days out.
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interestingly enough, i just saw in the "washington post" two days ago in the walk blog that data has come out from medical marijuana states that show that workplace absenteeism has actually decreased in medical marijuana states. you know, the author was careful to note that obviously correlation does not equal causation. however, the study itself points out that the decrease in employee absentee days was greater in states with less restrictions on who can access the medical marijuana, which leads the authors of the study it's actually medical marijuana causing this decrease. >> you know, quickly, i want to talk about revenue. i read that some say colorado is bringing in just $20 million of the $40 million expected for schools. others say that figure is about $35 million. still lower than expected. so what's your thought on that regarding nevada and its schools? >> well, the projections for nevada done by an independent
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that nevada will reap about $1.1 billion in marijuana sales and licensing and other supported economic activity. probably about $393 million in sales in the first year alone. in terms of taxation, they are estimating that there will be over $60 million in taxes in that first year. $20 million of which are earmarked for schools. and with any overage going to schools that is not taken up by paying for resignation and >> but is it possible that number like in colorado -- is that shooting higher than it's going to end up being? >> absolutely not. that's actually a conservative estimate. and the numbers out of colorado in fact showed that the actual tax revenue and fees that are coming in or greatly exceeding the estimates. just in 2015, they did almost $1 billion in sales alone as well as netting $135 million in taxes and fees, which was
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>> it's also worth pointing out that even if tax revenue comes in lower than projected, it's still tax revenue that's coming in. and currently, there are individuals using marijuana across the state of nevada. and the state is not reaping any tax benefits from it, you know. and any tax revenue is greater than they are currently getting. >> in addition, those sales are taking place in a legal market as opposed to in the criminal underground where all that money is being funneled into criminal enterprises. >> all right. thank you, guys. when we return, nevada isn't the only mpp battleground.
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wwe superstar john cena: patriotism. it inspires passionate debate and is worn like a badge of honor. and with good reason. because it means love and devotion for one's country. but what really makes up this country of ours? it's the people. to love america is to love all americans. this year patriotism shouldn't just be about pride of country. it should be about love. love beyond age, sexuality, disability, race, religion, and any other labels. has no labels. >> and welcome back to "eye on washington." our discussion of the pending legalization of recreational marijuana in nevada. we have been visiting with mr. morgan fox, the communications director of the marijuana policy project, and mr. robert capecchi, the federal policy director of the mpp. so nevada is not alone. there actually are three states where a legal mandatory
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november. florida's right to medical marijuana initiative is an amendment letting qualified patients get i.d. cards and would impose regulations on production and growing centers. and maine's marijuana legalization act aims to legalize the sale of marijuana to adults ages 21 and up, to impose and excise tax of 10% on recreational marijuana sales. meanwhile, four states and the district of columbia already have legalized recreational as adults. and 20 more states have legalized medical, but not recreational marijuana, including nevada. so, mr. fox, one quick point i want you to -- i'd appreciate your explaining to the viewers and listeners of this federal program. you know, we do focus on how federal issues affect the state here. the office of national drug control policy, they note, quote, the state marijuana laws do not change the fact that using marijuana continues
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>> i'm going to let robert take that one. >> i guess the federal policy guy. >> yes. i mean states have their own laws and the federal government has its own laws as well. it's pretty clear under the controlled substances act, which is the federal statute, that i guess made marijuana illegal, that states can set their own criminal policies when it comes to drugs. so states can end their prohibitions on adults using, possessing, cultivating marijuana if they choose to do so. however, because of our system of democracy, the federal they can enforce their laws as well, even when those laws differ. however, what the federal government can't do is make state actors enforce their law. >> so when congresswoman titus was on here several months ago talking about her federal marijuana legislation, she said a big reason for her own involvement was because of what she called a patchwork of laws and her belief there's a lot of confusion around state
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about medical marijuana here, but it's still the similar case, correct? >> that's correct. yeah. any marijuana policy reform that's happening at the state level is going to have -- you know, it's going to create different policy at that level than what's at the federal level because they still just have a blanket prohibition here in d.c. when it comes to marijuana. >> so how many of these past efforts are you guys directly involved in? >> it's difficult to say the exact number mpp j we've been doing this for so long. mpp was formed in 1995. and we have been directly involved in a lot of these efforts since then. >> sure. >> currently, we are directly involved in campaigns to make marijuana legal and regulated like alcohol in arizona, california, maine, massachusetts and nevada and supporting several other statewide efforts in the legislatures. >> are there certain states or areas, nevada included in my query, that you are most concerned about or most hopeful about as far as this year? >> well, we are fairly confident that the measures in
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are all going to pass. they are all pulling above 50%. and, you know, we have very, very robust campaigns of public education and, you know, get out to vote programs going on in those states. >> you know, it is confusing. like in d.c., you can use but you can't buy. >> yeah. i mean that's a direct result of congressional action. you know, the d.c. initiative that legalized marijuana here for adults 21 and older allow us to possess, use, share and but the proponents of that because of d.c. law could not require an expenditure of money or like a tax. you can't put a tax on the ballot. council wanted to change that, but congress has prevented them. >> thanks, gentlemen. and when we return, what is the marijuana policy project doing here on the hill on behalf of pro marijuana legislation? and what is my guests' top federal focus? we're going to tell you right
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>> and welme washington," our update on marijuana-related efforts on the hill and in the state. we have been visiting with robert capecchi and morgan fox of the marijuana policy project. so just what is the mpp? and how is this organization impacting nevada? the washington, d.c.-based marijuana policy project was founded in 1995 to lobby for reduced penalties on marijuana, cultivation, sales and use. it and normal are the nation's
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organizations. mpp's mission includes increasing public support for nonpunitive, noncoercive marijuana policies, identifying and activating supporters of nonpunitive, noncoercive marijuana policies, changing state laws to reduce or eliminate penalties for the medical and nonmedical use of marijuana and gaining influence in congress. according to their website, they, quote, envision a nation where marijuana is legally regulated similar to alcohol. marijuanuc realistic and treatment for problem marijuana users is noncoercive and geared toward reducing harm. we don't have a lot of time left in this segment, gentlemen. but i'll toss it to you. if you had a crystal ball, is question 2 going to pass in november? >> i'm cautiously optimistic that question 2 will pass. i think that the voters not only in nevada, but across the country are fed up with marijuana prohibition. they know it doesn't work. they know it doesn't reduce use. it doesn't reduce abuse. and it's time to try something new.
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adequately regulate substances and regulate them for the harms that they actually cause. >> mr. fox, quickly, what's the game plan on getting the communication word out? >> it's really just convincing voters that marijuana is safer than alcohol and showing them the data and showing them that other states have done it, nevada can do it, too. >> thanks for being here today. hope to have you on again sometime. maybe after the vote. >> thanks. >> that is it for today's "eye on washington." but we're always here for you providing all the latest news need to know. you can just go to our website joycecommunications.com and check out all the federal issues that impact nevada while you're there. thanks for joining us today on "eye on washington." i'm marilee joyce in
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>> you're watching "the wellness hour," the leader in medical news and information. i'm randy alvarez. today's topic -- replacing missing teeth with dental implants. and according to my first guest, she says nobody should be wearing a traditional denture. no more dentures. with us, we have an expert on the topic, dr. nicole mackie. dr. mackie, welcome to the program. >> thank you for having me. >> so, tell me a little bit about your role as the prosthodontist, and who's the typical patient? >> we don't really have a typical patient. patients can be any kind of walk of life, any different kind of

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